South African rand opens flat, global factors in driving seat

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The rand was little changed in early trade on Monday, with analysts saying global drivers including the Israel-Hamas conflict and US economic data were likely to set the tone for trading this week.

On Monday morning, the rand traded at 19.0475 against the dollar, near Friday’s closing level of 19.0325.

Rand Merchant Bank said in a morning briefing that the exchange rate had looked comfortable around 19 rand to the dollar but that rising US Treasury yields risked pressuring the rand.

ETM Analytics said in a research note that investor concern that the conflict in the Middle East could spread was boosting demand for safe-haven assets.

“This means that the rand will be a price taker, with none of the domestic data scheduled important enough to override these international developments,” ETM Analytics said.

Domestic data releases this week including a leading central bank indicator on Tuesday and producer inflation on Thursday.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was slightly stronger in early deals, the yield down 2 basis points to 10.780%.